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Monday, May 31, 2010

After a week of obsessing....

We have blue & white cake, a SH*& TON of Wilton's famous fluffy white "buttercream" and a chocolate chip island. The island cake took almost an hour to bake. After the 10" layers came out (about 40 minutes at 325), I turned the heat down to 310 until a skewer came out of the pyrex cake clean. Oh, and if you ever want to know how to divide 2 boxes of cake mix (different flavors, of course) into three different-sized baking vessels, ask Rick, whose physics major (& math minor) came in WAY handy on Saturday!
Since Rick was so invested in the baking project, I decided he deserved to have some fun and help me put the decorations on the frosted cake. Other than putting one of the coral pieces on backwards and one sideways he did great ;-) (He's watching me type and just grated his teeth.)

I used four straws (ordinary drinking straws courtesy of Mickey D's) as structural supports under the island. Pretty proud of meeself, I yam. The ONLY thing I was disappointed about was the waves... I wanted them to be more white than blue, but the two colors of frosting really combined in the piping bag, rather than streaking the way I'd hoped.

It is DONE!!!

Rick was a trooper! His steady hand and abundant patience was absolutely necessary to sprinkle on the graham-cracker-crumb-"sand" at the very end. I would've gotten it all over the place (and not just the floor like Rick did ;-) What would I do without my trusty assistant? Rick - you earned your Soux Chef merit badge this weekend. *muah*And the finished product.... Jack Sparrow's island.

The Chocolate Pearl.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Is this unfair?...

To decorate the "2nd Grade Desert Island" cake (read below to understand that I am not suggesting we ship all second graders to a deserted island. Although.... ) I decided to play it a little safe. At the suggestion of a fellow blogger/baker/friend I found these great seashell candy molds at Michaels. They also had chocolate pop molds in pirate-themed shapes. The shells will go all around the bottom tier and in a little pile on the top of the island. The skull & treasure chest will be the cake toppers, surrounded by some royal icing grass. I'm skipping out on the palm trees I originally envisioned. Too much risk, too little reward (this time).
I love the seahsells! I think they'd make great little gifts for Hallmark Holidays.

Now, the coral and seahorses are another story... I free-handed the seahorses on waxed paper with a tiny parchment paper cone filled with melted yellow candy melts. They're so cute! For the coral I started with a plate full of corn starch (because I swear I've seen that technique used on Food Network). I dipped a sucker stick in the cornstarch to make little channels for the chocolate to sit in, then piped it in and dusted it with yellow sanding sugar. I can't wait to see how they look on the cake. I couldn't be happier with the way they turned out.

A Real Cake!

Well kids. It's now or never. I have my first Real Cake order. For someone else. To serve to other people. FORTY - 4.0. - other people. Yes, all of my nails have been bitten to the quick.

The occasion: 2nd grade tropical-theme class party.

The ideas: a million. I scoured the interwebs and, with my mom's help, found a million and seven ideas. Flip flop cakes, surfboard cakes, pirate ships, sharks, fish ponds, boats, Hawaiian shirt cakes (which I might have to do for Father's Day), and more. After a couple days of considering the options (and my extensively-limited skill set and complete lack of experience) I circled back around to my original idea - a deserted island. The idea just takes me to a beach with Captain Jack Sparrow, digging up his bottles and exclaiming, "Why's the rum ALWAYS gone?!?!" (My favorite movie line of all time.)

Here's the concept I drew up:

Two-tiers, 10" round bottom, 8" pyrex dome "island" on top. Bottom tier will be white & blue vanilla cake with blue vanilla buttercream. Top tier will be yellow cake with mini-chocolate chips and brown sugar butter cream "sand" icing. The decorations are almost all molded chocolate. I have some great pics of those that will come next.

Cross all your fingers & toes for me!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cinco de Mayo!

Thanks to Cupcake Rehab I made these last week:
Orange-cinna-vanilla cupcakes with Mexican-hot-chocolate buttercream. I loved that icing so much I could shed a tear, or sweat a little from the heat of the cayenne pepper. Those little pics with the chile pepper and sombrero were a fun add, considering the cupcakes were for a party in our building. The red hots were a logical decoration, too, wouldn't ya say?! I will so SO so make these again ~ and hopefully sooner rather than later. If nothing else, just to have a bowl of that icing to eat with a spoon ;-) Recipe is here.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Two new fabulous blogs I stumbled upon today while searching for the perfect dessert to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Bake it Pretty (for all kinds of baking schwag):

and Cupcake Rehab (where I should spend my whole summer, anyone want to join me?):